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A lizard-like monster with a Fu Manchu moustache and terrible teeth is terrorising Bipasha Basu’s mountainside hotel owner Ahaana and her guests. It has previously made a meal of several victims, including one that rashly walks in the direction of its voice, which sounds like a sore-throated man gurgling at high volume, when he should have bolted in the opposite direction. Creature director Vikram Bhatt reveals glimpses of the rubber-bodied cross between alien and dinosaur within the first five minutes of the movie. More such bad choices follow, such as soft-focus shots of the deadly boring romance between Ahaana and guest Kunal (Imran Abbas Naqvi), the insertion of a handful of songs into a suspense thriller, and the most puzzling refusal of the creature’s hunters to douse the blasted thing with petrol and burn it even after it is clearly demonstrated that the only thing the beast fears is fire.

Instead, Ahaana loads a gun with seven bullets that have been dipped into some magical water in Pushkar (don’t ask) and misfires six of them. Where is a matchbox when you need it?

Before her climactic act of valour, there is the usual spectacle of chirpy honeymooners who deserve to die, tribal villagers warning of an ancient curse that led to the current crisis, a disbelieving and clueless forest official who doesn’t know of the monster’s existence since it hasn’t been WhatsApped yet, stretches of English dialogue, and repeated instances of the attacker’s state of confusion. The beast slows down when it should run, crawls when it should leap, scratches at doors that it clearly has the ability to tear down, and lurks within shouting distance of the hotel. The pumped-up background score tries to send a few shivers down the spine, but the only impact is on the ear-drums. And it is all in 3D too.

Creature released in theatres on Friday.

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